Foothills Leader Spotlight

Our volunteer instructors and activity leaders are the heart and soul of our branch. This month we celebrate Denise Crafton, Rich DuBois, Chris Pribbernow, and Bonnie Eiber.
Steve Lebrun Steve Lebrun
Foothills Branch Chair
October 07, 2016

hiking & Backpacking

In 2016, we've had 42 Foothills hike and backpack leaders take members on 162 hikes and backpacks, for a total of 1819 miles and 364,595 feet of elevation gain. We appreciate every one of our leaders, but here are three of our finest and most dedicated:

Denise Crafton

Denise  grew up in Washington, and joined the Mountaineers in 2009 to meet like-minded people-friends to hike with. She has been leading trips for eight years and  loves the opportunity to relate to people who are new to hiking, scrambling, and snowshoeing. She remembers when she was new to these activities and how intimidating some of it could be. She enjoys helping people find their passion as she has found hers. Denise reports that her favorite hiking destination this year was the PCT south of Potato Hill to Killen Creek meadows on Mt Adams. "A truly stunning place!!"

Rich dubois

Rich has lived in the great PNW for 6 years, moving here from the Midwest (Chicago is his hometown). He joined the Mountaineers weeks before moving here, and was amazed and delighted by the number of organized hikes on the website. He went on 3 hikes - Skyscraper Pass, Cascade Pass, and Table Mountain Loop - over the weekend after his arrival, an incredible Labor Day weekend! He started to lead for the Mountaineers 3 years ago. His favorite Mountaineers trip that he led this year was the PCT out of Hart's Pass ("the road isn't as terrifying as some had described it and the PCT, both north and south, out of there is spectacular!"). Rich describes the greatest rewards from leading, and what he enjoys the most, are when a participant says "this is beautiful", "you go to great places", "wow", etc., and getting people out to places they wouldn't get out to otherwise.

Chris pribbernow

Chris was born and raised here in Western Washington. He started hiking in the summer of 2009, and joined the Mountaineers that fall (just before he turned 17) to meet new people, explore new places, and learn new skills from experienced hikers and mountaineers. Chris has been a hike leader since 2011, and also instructs at scramble course field trips. His favorite place to lead hikes is in the Yakima Canyon area during the spring when the wildflowers and cacti are blooming (as a CWU grad, the region was his hiking backyard during college and he knows all the local trails quite well). Chris finds motivation and reward in leading hikers on trails they have never hiked on before, and in getting people together who share the same passion for the outdoors.  

Backcountry skiing

Bonnie Eiber

Bonnie came to The Mountaineers in late 2001. She got into backkcountry skiing enough that by 2005 she and her teenage son Kit enrolled in our Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue course. As is common with Mountaineer's courses, she came to know a great group of like-minded folks, and so when asked to help with the course the following year, she quickly agreed.

In 2007, she took the Ski and snowboard Mountaineering course and again has volunteered to help with this class ever since. In 2010,Foothills made the decision to become AIARE-certified for our avalanche education program, and Bonnie quickly stepped up to become a level one instructor. This is a huge commitment involving lots of hours per year. To add to that, Bonnie also serves faithfully on the Foothills Backcountry Ski Committee as co-leader of the leadership program. Bonnie contributes every day to the success of our Foothills programs, and for that we say: Thank you Bonnie Eiber!